“Giftedness is not what you do or how hard you work. It is who you are. You think differently. You experience life intensely. You care about injustice. You seek meaning. You appreciate and strive for the exquisite. You are painfully sensitive. You are extremely complex. You cherish integrity. Your truth-telling has gotten you in trouble. Should 98% of the population find you odd, seek the company of those who love you just the way you are. You are not broken. You do not need to be fixed. You are utterly fascinating. Trust yourself!”

Linda Silverman~Gifted Development Center Denver

Friday, 25 January 2013

Report Card Comments & a FREEBIE

Let me start off by saying although it has been crazy busy for me at work and in my home life, I have tried to make time to update my blog each week.  Taking pictures, writing the entries and crafting new FREEBIES helps give me a place to focus all my positive, creative energies!  To that end, I am thrilled to have been chosen for a blog award from We Are Teachers.  I look forward to writing a guest blog entry for them sometime in the upcoming year, and to being a Guest Pinner of the Week on Pinterest!  Being nominated for and winning an award for my blog content has seriously brightened my week!  .

For the past couple of weeks all I have been able to focus on is updating IEPS, writing IPRC review invitations and getting my report cards finished on time.  Although I tend to use similar comments from year to year, I have been trying to update the comments to reflect the increased focus on the BIG IDEAS being taught in my program. I have started to create a comment bank for all areas of the curriculum.   I will try to post updates as the year progresses. The comments included below were created from the Mathematical Process Skills listed in the Ontario Curriculum Grades 1-8, Mathematics, 2005.

"Presented at the start of every grade outlined in this curriculum document is a set of seven expectations that describe the mathematical processes students need to learn and apply as they work to achieve the expectations outlined within the five strands. The need to highlight these process expectations arose from the recognition that students should be actively engaged in applying these processes throughout the program, rather than in connection with particular strands. 

The mathematical processes that support effective learning in mathematics are as follows:

• problem solving 
• reasoning and proving 
• reflecting 
• selecting tools and computational strategies 
• connecting 
• representing 
• communicating

The mathematical processes can be seen as the processes through which students acquire and apply mathematical knowledge and skills. These processes are interconnected. Problem solving and communicating have strong links to all the other processes. A problem-solving approach encourages students to reason their way to a solution or a new understanding. As students engage in reasoning, teachers further encourage them to make conjectures and justify solutions, orally and in writing.The communication and reflection that occur during and after the process of problem solving help students not only to articulate and refine their thinking but also to see the problem they are solving from different perspectives. This opens the door to recognizing the range of strategies that can be used to arrive at a solution. By seeing how others solve a problem, students can begin to reflect on their own thinking (a process known as “metacognition”) and the thinking of others, and to consciously adjust their own strategies in order to make their solutions as efficient and accurate as possible. 

The mathematical processes cannot be separated from the knowledge and skills that students acquire throughout the year. Students must problem solve, communicate, reason, reflect, and soon, as they develop the knowledge, the understanding of concepts, and the skills required in all the strands in every grade. "
 (The Ontario Curriculum Grades 1-8, Mathematics, 2005)

I have chosen to use these expectations as the basis of my mathematics reporting because they address the "bigger picture" of mathematical learning.  These processes are deeply connected to the knowledge and skills which all students are learning across the grades. 

I will often include an "e.g." similar to those seen in the comments below.  The examples describe what students have been learning in class during the previous term.  Since the parents will be familiar with work which has come home over the course of the term, they will be able to identify where the content of those "e.g."s (specific skills and concepts) fits into the process expectations. Using this type of comment also allows me to identify student strengths, and help set specific next steps for improvement.

Click on the image above to download you own copy.

Looking for more ways to include assessment practices in your classroom?  Check out this great visual representation of the 4 Levels of Achievement.  You can EDIT the file to make the criteria match your classroom needs.

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